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A proton that has a mass m and is moving at 250 m/s in the + direction undergoes a head-on elastic collision with a stationary oxygen nucleus of mass 16m. Find the velocities of the proton and the oxygen nucleus after the collision

  • physics -

    Conservation of momentum, and energy applies.

    m*250= 32m*Vo+mVp

    where Vo is the velocity of the oxygen molecule, and Vp is the velocity of the proton.

    Vp= (250-32)Vo

    Now, energy.
    1/2 250^2=1/2 32 Vo^2+1/2 Vp^2
    put the experession for Vp above into that, and solve for Vo

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